A look at the top developments from Israel’s war on Gaza:

  1. The Israeli military on Sunday said it has encircled Gaza City – dividing the besieged coastal region into two. “Today, there is north Gaza and south Gaza,” Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari told reporters. Hagari described the action as a “significant stage” in Israel’s war against Palestinian militant group Hamas. Israeli forces were expected to storm Gaza city within 48 hours and strong explosions were seen in northern Gaza after dusk, the Associated Press reported citing Israeli media reports.
  2. The overall toll from the Israeli attacks in Gaza increased to 9,770 including 4,800 children, Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Sunday, citing the Gaza health ministry. A total of over 1,500 people have been killed in Israel, most of them being civilians who were killed in an attack by Hamas on October 7.
  3. Gaza again has lost telecommunication contact on Sunday, the Associated Press reported. This is the third such total outage since the Israeli offensive on the region began. The first such blackout took place for about 36 weeks over a week ago, while the second one took place for several hours on November 1.
  4. The Israeli government on Sunday rejected calls for a ceasefire in Gaza and demanded the return of hostages Hamas took during the October 7 attack. “There will be no ceasefire without the return of the hostages,” Reuters quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying. “This should be completely removed from the lexicon. We say this to our friends and to our enemies. We will simply continue until we defeat them. We have no alternative.” Netanyahu’s comments came a day after foreign ministers of Arab nations told Blinken that Washington should persuade Tel Aviv to agree to a ceasefire. However, Blinken too had rejected the idea of a ceasefire saying it “would simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7”.
  5. Visiting Palestine’s West Bank region on Sunday, the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and assured Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that the Biden administration was intensifying efforts to ease humanitarian problems in Gaza. Blinken said that Palestinian voices have to be at the centre of what happens in Gaza after the conflict ends.

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